Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hockey Headlines (Like We Care or Something) - With Pictures

I'm sucking it up and writing a hockey post today - because apparently the NHL All-Star game was this past weekend. Although if nobody watches it, does it actually happen?

Beware the Iron Curtain
Ok, I did see one highlight from All-Star Weekend - Alex Ovechkin's miss in the breakaway competition (see it here if you haven't already). Sadly the most talked about moment of the weekend was a trick shot that didn't actually work. How many pieces would Chris Osgood's skull be in if Ovechkin had actually connected on that?

The NHL: Finger on the Pulse of It's Fans Firmly Inserted in it's Own Rectum
Just what hockey fans have been clamouring for right? More meaningless regular season games. Apparently the NHL is considering moving to an 84 game schedule, up from 82. Yes, I understand the reasons behind it. But absolutely nobody wants to see more games. The NHL season lasts 14 months as it is. Oh well, two more games means I can lose interest at Christmas instead of New Year's next year.

Those Lazy, Lazy Finns - Get a Job!!
Well it's almost February and Teemu Selanne has decided he should maybe get around to playing hockey this year. If I was a fan of the Ducks I'd be pretty upset by this. Selanne holds the team hostage for half a season and then finally decides to come out and play. If it were my call he'd be on the next garbage barge to Uusikaupunki.

And Just Because I Think it's Funny

Monday, January 28, 2008

... And Get Off My Lawn!

They're turning this post into a movie starring Cooper as the curmudgeonly lighthouse keeper. Did anyone get that needlessly obscure reference? I swear sometimes I write things just to amuse myself. In any case, what follows is Cooper's new Sports As Life feature.

Do you enjoy 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney? Of course you do, I don’t even have to ask, do I? Well I was talking to the almighty editor and chief of this rag and we have come up with an idea of sorts. The way I see it I am an old crotchety man who enjoys waxing and waning about the past and poo pooing anything that is new and exciting. So seeing that the college football season is over and I need to have a new piece, I figure I could have myself an Andy Rooney-like piece that appears weekly, or bi-weekly, or every second fort night. We will have to see what happens once I become our reporter entrenched in Winnipeg. I will be getting a laptop shortly so I should be able to file reports, although if I want to do this in true Andy Rooney style I would prefer to use telegraph or Western Union. To keep in the True Andy Rooney form of writing every piece will begin with either “You ever notice how”, or “When I was a kid”, or even “Youth today……”. Sometimes I will strive to include all of these phrases, and hopefully a few more. I will have to watch 60 Minutes tonight and see what other catch phrases seniors use.

You ever notice how goaltenders of the NHL today have masks that are celebrated as being fine pieces of art? Just recently I read an article on, I believe ESPN.com, showcasing the best goal masks of the NHL, with small musings about the story behind the painting. Such as Minnesota’s Josh Harding’s “Pink Ribbon” mask either paying tribute to breast cancer victims or celebrating his rampant homosexuality. As well as Dallas Stars Mike Smith's mask with Garth Brooks emblazoned on the sides, most likely to celebrate his hot man love for said person. When I was a kid there were no articles on the Internet celebrating the best goal masks of the NHL. When I was a kid goal masks were crap and we knew it. So to counter punch ESPN’s article on the best goal masks of history I bring you the Worst Goal Masks of Hockey History. John Garrett is fingered on this list no less than twice.

There have been a lot of terrible goal masks since the mask first gained popularity, when the legendary Jacques Plantes of Montreal put on his plain white mask following a game against the Rangers and began roaming the streets of Montreal, massacring cheerleaders, teens on dates and sleepovers, all while he forced his son to videotape it all. There are masks of crappy craftsmanship, poor paint schemes and masks that are just plain creepy. Here are just a few that I have researched.

First we start off reviewing masks of poor quality. These are the masks that were formed from bits of string, leather, discarded chicken bones, and chicken wire and crudely attached to a Jofa.

1. Christopher Abrahamsson: As mentioned,chicken wire and a Jofa… very nicely done. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/wha/newengland/abrahamsson.html

2. Dunc Wilson: A nice amalgamation of discarded KFC bones, glue and Thompson’s deck stain. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/canucks/wilson.html

3. Kelly Hrudey: Note the Jofa. I wonder how many plastic surgeries the man had to endure to become an on-air CBC celeb after enduring over a decade of punishment in this mask. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/islanders/hrudey.html

4. Greg Millen: Here we have the mask of a CBC on-air celeb who obviously chose not to receive reconstructive facial surgery like his cohort Kelly Hrudey. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/blues/millen.html

5. Glen Hanlon: I can’t tell if this is a mask crudely constructed with a Mecano set or if that is indeed the face of the ugliest man in NHL history. Judge for yourselves. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/blues/hanlon.html

Our next group features some masks that employed some just awful, unoriginal paint schemes.

1. Ken Brown: I personally call this one “whiskers”. This one could also fall into the “just plain creepy" category as well. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/wha/alberta/brown.html

2. John Garrett: This is the first piece in the Garret collection. Hey John, you got some schmutz on your face. I believe it is a chicken wing. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/wha/newengland/garrett.html

3. John Garrett: The 2nd piece in the Garret Collection is this hideous painting from his Canuck era. Note the dude in the glasses behind Garret in a zombie like state. Probably mesmerized at Garrets drop-kick save. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/canucks/garrett.html

4. Tom Draper: Thanks for coming out Tom http://www.goaliesarchive.com/z/jets/draper.html

5. Pokey Reddick: When I get to Winnipeg I have to search out the man responsible for painting these Jets masks. The man has talent. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/z/jets/reddick.html

6. Jamie Mclennan: Luke and I both agree any mask that has a “Nickelback” theme is bad in principle. http://www.punkoryan.com/images/apr06/leafs%20panthers%20110406%20KU1Y1895.jpg

And now we get to the just plain creepy category. I have so far only found 4 that truly belong in this category. I would be scared as hell to walk into a dark room with a stranger wearing one of these two masks, frankly I would fear that I would be in the presence of a sexual predator.

1. Bill Berglund: This mask, hands down is in my opinion the creepiest mask ever! I imagine that most players who found the chance at an open break on this guy most likely dumped the puck into the corner and turned and headed for the bench at the fear of being raped by this guy. I am not saying he is a rapist. I am just saying that when I envision a rapist, this is what he would wear. I call this one “The Violator”. Notice the sinister, raping smile. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/wha/newengland/berglund.html

2. Corrado Micalef: This one isn’t nearly as creepy as the latter but creepy none the less. I am sure the blueprint for this mask was from a certain M. McKen’s cranium. Micalef was forced into early retirement after his head hatched. http://www.goaliesarchive.com/wings/micalef.html

3. Jacques Caron: I believe this mask was part of his scary clown outfit he used to terrorize the neighborhood children http://www.goaliesarchive.com/canucks/caron.html

4. Michel Dion: Good Lord! http://www.inthecrease.co.uk/masks/pit-dion3.jpg and http://www.goaliesarchive.com/penguins/dion.html

There is one mask I wanted to put on here but sadly I could not find any pictures that verify it’s existence. This would be the classic Mylec Street Hockey Mask that I personally owned and customized in the early 90’s. Here is a stock photo. As somebody who has worn a lot of street hockey masks from the classic “Jason” mask to the Patrick Roy Canadians mask to the crap of today I have to say the old Mylec was the best mask hands down. Probably why it ran at around $80.00. I saved for months to get it and when I did I was the coolest fat kid at Bonnycastle Elementary, which is to say not very popular at all. Anyway when I got this mask I decided I wanted it painted. It was too much to get it professionally done so I did it myself. I decided to make a replica of the Washington Capitals Don Beaupre’s mask. So I went to the local hobby store and bought 6 jars of model paint, highly noxious model paint to say the least. Well after dozens of hours and after suffering extensive brain cell death, I had it done. The crappiest paint job ever seen. Several years later, after I moved to Regina I decided to scrap the paint. So I thought dousing the mask in paint thinner would do a good job. Well it worked, however you really couldn’t wear the mask for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time without hallucinating and becoming markedly short of breath due to the fumes. Sadly, I have not seen another Mylec mask since. If you have one, I will buy it off of you for sure.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's No Accounting for Taste - Moment of Truth Edition

Last night I was too busy playing Rockband to notice there was a new reality show debuting. However, Trebor was on the ball and watched Moment of Truth so that you wouldn't have to suffer through it. His take on not lying for money...

Are there anymore honest people in America……we’ll find out next on {pause} The Moment of Truth !!!

So the show that has had people talking… not sure what people but yesterday morning I was reminded by my radio that it was on. As I’m typing I realized I missed 2 shows premiering this week that I wanted to see - Extra’s on Comedy Central and Snoop Dogg’s Fatherhood on... A&E??

Anyway the show is hosted by a Walberg... not sure which one but not Marky Mark. They have clips at the beginning of the BIG questions and some cheesy voice over saying pretty much how I started this.

The rules are explained and the point of the game ?? Contestant comes on and they have to go through 6 rounds of questions. Each round worth some dollar amount: 10K, 25K…last 500K. The contestant has been asked 50 questions while hooked up to a lie detector prior to coming out. They then pick 21 questions “randomly” and ask them… if the answer matches what the polygraph says was the truth they go on to the next question… simple

There’s 2 twists, neither of which happened last night. The first is one of the 3 guests can hit a button in front of them if they don’t want to hear the answer and thus the next question is asked - could be better, could be worse - but you know it’s going to be worse. The next is ??? If they want to change their answer to an earlier question… not sure how this one works, may have to keep watching to find out.

So the first guy is some personal trainer and he has with him his hot Russian mail-order bride and 2 friends. Maybe not mail-order but she can't be long off the boat. Her name is Catia, which is close to my favorite name - Tatiana… well not that close but I just like saying Tatiana.

First round consists of 6 questions… Walberg sits down and asks him a question like - So what do you like to do in your spare time? Are you good at your job ? The point is to set up one of the questions. So are you good at your job? - yeah…blah blah…… Alright here’s your question: “Have you ever called in sick even though you weren’t” ooooooo

So every time a question is asked the audience is, I assume, prodded to go OOOOOOOO. Then the camera goes on him and he makes some faces and no answer right away - it’s like a 10-15 second pause for every question. I guess that’s making it more dramatic, like he’s thinking it over and not sure and all that junk. So he answers... then silence... about 15-25 seconds later (depends on the OOOOOO factor) a women’s voice comes on: That answer is ……True.

Then again some prodding and it return to clapping. Not sure why clapping, even when admitting to things like cheating and lying. The audience should BOOOO, like on Maury’s show when he has the cheating spouse. They come out they are greeted to BOOOO’s even if it turns out they did nothing wrong.

First round went by with nothing too exciting. I guess the worst was ‘while in the locker room have you ever checked out a guy in the shower’… that’s not even that bad.

Round 2 – 5 questions. After question 1 you start to see where this is going... it’s going to be questions that have to do with his wife… I really didn’t mind the camera going to her all the time, she was hot… thus reinforcing the mail-ordering. He did answer no to one question which was ‘Since ordering your bride... oops I mean, Since marrying your bride have you used the Internet to flirt with women?’ So that answer was no and the truth.

Have you ever done anything that would make your wife not trust you? (now we’re getting into the actual ooooo questions). So he answers yes, she’s upset saying I want to know what you did. Here’s where they could improve this show do like a Maury thing and have a backstage where after he’s kicked out she’s yelling at him or crying or some drama, it’s probably going to happen anyway, why not let us see it?

The next question was set up by, so where do you see yourself in 5 years ? – good job, nice house, a couple of kids-- they go to Catia… I’m not sure about the kids part. So I’m thinking the question is going to be, would you leave your wife if she didn’t want to have kids? I was wrong, instead it was ‘Are you delaying having kids because you don’t think the she is your life long partner?’ (Are you going to send her back for another one?)

The friend was telling the wife, you don’t have to hear this, push the button and all that but she let him answer yes. Wow, how do you go home after that? Though these people did agree to it, and he was asked the question earlier so knew it could come up… I just don’t get it.

Also on the question… maybe the delay was due to her not wanting kids now. So then the answer is still yes because they have delayed having kids, but reason could be different and a lie detector can't figure that out. I have a feeling a lot of question will be like that. It should be A) Are you delaying kids because of your wife ? B) Do you think she's your life-long partner?

He gets knocked out in the third round by: ‘As a trainer have you ever touched a female client more than required?’ He answer no and that was a lie. Pretty weak, so what if he was guiding some girl's glutes a little too much? Not sure why he’d lie about this and speak honestly before. I think the problem is the nature of the question - he does touch clients… more than needed? Who decides that? So maybe there was one time that he felt guilty even though he didn’t do anything wrong.

So for the first guy to go through 11 questions it took about 35 min of actual time (including commercials). So they really stretch out those pauses.

The next guy brought some life to the show. He was energetic and laughing, even when admitting to being a member of Hair Club for Men and also for having padded his underwear on occasion to look... well you know. I think he got through 4 questions and we know he is a gambler. From the preview, he will get asked, do you love your girlfriend? and also one of his kids asks, have you ever lost one of your kid's education funds on gambling?

I don’t know about this show. I enjoy to a certain extent seeing people squirm. This seems too much, too made up possibly as well. I just don’t understand why you’d want to do this. The personal trainer… if I’m one of his clients, I phone up talk to his boss and the guy I’m sure would be fired quickly. His wife and whoever else will be pissed off at him too and what does he get ??

Also what do you get from lying… with the trainer he answers yes... possibly in trouble at work. He answer no the show tells everyone that’s a lie and he ends up in trouble at work but no money. So why lie??

I also don’t like the fact that they aren’t hooked up to the lie detector - that would be a it better. Then they could show that thing making it’s waves while he’s thinking and when he answers. There’s a good chance I’ll never watch this again, even though the Wednesday night line-up is weak. There’s got to be something better, something that doesn’t make me feel guilty for supporting. Unlike American Gladiators where I suggested checking it out……yeah, don’t waste your time with this one.

Anyway, the night wasn’t a total waste - watched the Raptors BEAT the Celtics. They must have had like 20 turnovers; it was frustrating at times watching them pass to the Celtics. But they also shot the lights out... 100% from the line and I think 15/21 from 3 point land. Pretty good game.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Sports As Life Super Bowl Correspondent

Since Sports As Life has neither the monetary resources, nor the wherewithal, to actually send one of it's regular contributors to the Super Bowl we've had to take alternative measures. What does that mean you ask? Well I'm glad you brought it up - it means that we've found someone who was going to be travelling around over the next two weeks anyway. So after some mild coaxing we were able to convince him to send the occasional story to Sports As Life.

What follows is the inaugural posting by Sports As Life's newest contributor - Earnest Jonathan Soupcan, hobo.

Now before ya bleeding-heart, up in arms, PC half-wits start to feeling sorry for me, let me get one thing clear - I ain't no homeless person. I choose to live free, steal bowling shoes, sleep in movie theatres and ride the rails. I ain't no down on my luck junkie neither - I used to be an investment banker but there was an incident, maybe I'll tell ya about it sometime. So now I hobo.

Got the name Soupcan from an ol' Hobo nam'a Dirtpatch Jones - gave it to me on accounta' my taste for the glue that holds labels on soup cans. When a man's on the road, that's just about the best thing going - fills him up and it's good and binding. Some folks'll swear by Styrofoam but for ol' Soupcan, it's label glue or nothing.

Might be asking yourself how a hobo got mixed up in all this Innernest business?

Well this young kid comes by the 'yard the other day and is askin' around at the boys, seein' if any of them know about usin' a computer. Finally, I gets curious and pipes up and says - been nearly 20 years, but I used to know my way around a Wang. So he asks if I might be headin' down south over the next couple weeks - and I tell him that my schedule is usually pretty flexible.

After a few cold days on those Canadian rails, I'm in a public library in Buffalo - tellin' everyone the first part of this story. Then on my way to Boston and to New York. And then it's the long haul across the heartland - the real reason I signed up (although getting paid in peanut butter sandwiches is no raw deal either). Ain't seen the south in a long time. Should be arrivin' in Arizona just in time for this big game next week.

And as usually happens after a hobo's been in the library for more than 10 minutes - here come the police to throw ol' Soupcan out onto the bricks...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Listen John, We Have to Talk

I'm sure glad that something happened with those Toronto Maple Leafs - we hadn't heard about them in awhile

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Patented Chris-Check

CH returns with The Patented Chris-Check to ease your hockey jones.

Spurred on by the allegations a few months ago of Sean Avery ridiculing Jason Blake’s cancer, I’ve decided to look in to the world of trash talk and come up with some guidelines on what is appropriate and what isn’t. Darcy-Tucker-character-defamation-theories aside (what better way to make someone look like the biggest ass in the world, than by claiming they ridiculed the big C?), more than likely Sean Avery did say what he was accused of. I, like all other fans, hate him. But one can’t argue with the results – Avery ended up with the GWG, got Tucker to take stupid penalties, and ultimately frazzled the Leafs and took their focus off of hockey.

An aside:

Without knowing him personally, and not being able to back this up, I have a theory: Toronto Maple Leaf forward Jason Blake is a jerk.

Yes, that Jason Blake. The one with a rare form of cancer who continues to play in the NHL. Bad things have been known to not only happen to good people. Avery is a jerk, but I find it extremely hard to believe anyone would call Blake out on this without being overly provoked. Then just a few weeks ago Downie gives Blake a reverse hammer-punch to the face, while he is being held by a linesman. Even for Downie, this seems a little extreme under the circumstances. Downie was somehow not kicked out of the game, yet there was no comeuppance whatsoever delivered by any of the Leafs. You’ve got to wonder when no one on the team comes to Blake’s aid under the circumstances. Perhaps they’re sick of backing him up.

End of aside.

How personal should trash talking be? If you’re going to go as far as Avery did, you would think it would be in a little more important of a situation than one of eighty-two regular season games.

No one can argue with the results of Materazzi using personal insults on Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. If you knew badmouthing someone’s mother and sister would preserve a World Cup title, you’d say it too. Then again, without the benefit of hindsight, and not knowing Zidane would take the most ridiculously obvious red card I have ever seen, would you be able to say something that personally hurtful on the off-chance a fellow competitor won’t just simply brush it off? Probably not, but the line of appropriateness is obviously blurred in multi-million dollar professional sports. In professional sports I’d say playoff games of any kind put most rules out the window.

Unless it’s the race card, or knowledge of real issues with someone’s children - nothing is off limits. It’s a disservice to a city and your team’s fans if you withhold inside information that could gain an edge with your opponent.

Religion? If mentioning your teddy bear’s name is Mohammed gets the other team a red card, why not go there? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be 40 to be a man. Victims of trash talk really need to suck it up for the sake of their team. If parking officers can take it, why can’t a professional athlete?

But where does this leave the average folk reading this column?

In rec sports and weekend warrior games, anything beyond mild ridicule to a team’s most aggressive and skilled players is probably going to be seen as too far. That’s not to say it shouldn’t be done. It is part of being competitive, and I daresay, one of the more enjoyable aspects of amateur sport – within limits.

First of all, it should be used as a reactive measure. Proactive trash talk in beer league isn’t going to make you any friends on the other team or your own. But if some smarmy dude is rubbing out players and being an ass, he’s fair game.

Secondly, at this level personal insults aren’t necessary. The best way to get into someone’s head is to comment on actions and stupid plays. Some old standby’s are people with bad haircuts, or commenting on the score board. If using the scoreboard, make sure you are at least somewhat responsible for your team’s good fortunes. No one likes an arrogant ankle skater.

Even more effective than these, is a mocking in front of others - even if it's not directly related to how someone looks or plays. People don’t like to get laughed at, even if it has nothing to do with their ability or personal lives. For example: Were your parents cousins who also sucked at baseball? The possibilities are endless, and are best left as spur of the moment.

I for one am intrigued by the art, and only wish that helmet mics in the NFL and CFL actually let us hear what is being said out on the field, instead of being used for witty team mate chit chat, and the noise of shoulder pad collisions. I bet soccer has by far the most personal trash talk, especially on the international stage where blind patriotism often gives a free pass to racism.

I could go on and on with this subject, but won’t until further inspired. If you’ve read up to this point, congratulations on making it through 850 words of drivel – loser.

Monday Headlines - In Pictures

I have a feeling this is the form the Monday Headlines are going to take from now on - because, well, it's easier and much more fun for me.

It's a Boston v. New York Super Bowl - And Fox Couldn't Be More Ecstatic
Over/under on number of Red Sox/Yankee montages we see on Super Sunday: 1,327. Take the over. At least Terry Bradshaw won't have to learn any new names or places on the map to stammer his way through some Super Bowl analysis.

Archie Manning Phones Mr. Brady; Tells Him That Tom's Been Being Mean to Archie's Boys
Listen Archie, I hear what you're saying. But it's not Tom's fault that he's developed faster than Peyton and Eli. Sometimes he just doesn't know his own strength. Don't worry, I'll have a talk with him about it though.

Ever-Defiant Rivers - "We'll Get Them Next Week!"
I will admit that the Pats/Chargers game was much closer than I thought it would be. And if San Diego had remembered that touchdowns are worth 6 points, not just 3 - it might have been a different game. Too bad nobody told LT this was a playoff game.

Eil Wondering if Phoenix Has Got Stuff To Do There

Non-Football Related Headline - Hockey in Fact
I think the fact that the Team Formerly Known as the Toronto Maple Leafs is in shambles is hilarious - except maybe to people in Toronto. Yet 175% of media coverage is about the Turmoil in Toronto. I haven't seen this much attention paid to suspect hockey since Elsinore Brewery played the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane.

That Other Shoe Finally Dropped; And Old Habits Die Hard
As much as it pains me to admit, I think the Giants will probably give the Patriots a better game.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sights & Sounds

And to follow up with last week’s gigantic S&S post, here is an extremely short one. Just a few links.

Manoj : Telemarketer Elite.
An Acoustic cover of Toxic.
Here is some Zach Galifinakis Stand up for you.
And last, Nick Swardson on Jimmy Kimmel. The story about him and Jamie Kennedy is pretty funny….or at least I think.

Th..th..tha…tha…tha…that’s all folks.

Jeff K

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Predict A Riot - Conference Championship Weekend

I'll admit it, I'm very nervous. This weekend has to just go just right or I won't be able to watch the Super Bowl. Of the 4 possible combinations, I could only bring myself to watch 2 of them. Actually, 50% ain't that bad - and as long as Green Bay wins I'll be fine. If the Giants keep giving kickbacks to Satan and somehow stay alive another week I won't be able to stomach it. How they're still playing I'll never know... over-rated... clap... clap... clapclapclap.

Nobody's Favorite Manning @ Everyone's Favorite Drug Pusher
Clearly not having heartburn makes you more of a man - Hey hon, come watch me throw this football over this lake! I'd say that eating less than 27 pounds of crawfish would probably help ease the heartburn problem as well.

Oh Eli, why does everybody hate you so much? You don't seem like all that bad of a guy. A little bumpkin-ish sure, but at least you don't spend your spare time taunting the opposing fans. But I don't think the total lack of personality is helping anything - unless you count pouting while walking off the field as personality - and you know I don't.

But then on the other side, you've got Mr. Personality - Mr. Gunslinger, Mr. Just Having Fun, Mr. Toss it Up There and See What Happens... Mr. Don't Bring Up That He Was Addicted to Painkillers for a Long Time... I kid, I kid. I like Brett Favre. There I said it. But not in a want to play homoerotic football with you kind of way. It's more to do with the fact that he's a throwback to a different time - when a quarterback was expected to be more than simply a "game-manager". What an absolute scourge on the sport that concept is. I want to see my quarterbacks take a chance now and then - I'd rather see a quarterback throw for 350 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions than 180 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. There was a time when quarterbacks were asked to do more than just not turn the ball over - they were actually expected to go out and win games.

The fact that Eli is a borderline "game-manager" is probably why I dislike him and the Giants so much. Yes I understand that protecting the ball and not turning it over is important - but if you're team can't overcome an interception or two now and then, you're not good enough to be competing for a Conference title anyway.

It was bad enough having to watch Peyton in the Super Bowl last year... if Eli somehow makes it, *shudder* - I don't know what I'll do. Oh, I know - not watch it.
Winner: Green Bay

The Quarterback Who Made Idiocy Cool @ The Quarterback Who Made Illegitimate Children Cool

I couldn't begin to tell you how torn I am over this game. I have no idea who I should be cheering for. On the one hand you have the Patriots - and the thought of even thinking about cheering for them makes the bile rise in my gullet. However, on the the other hand you have Phil Rivers - who, even though he might not even play on Sunday, embodies almost every characteristic that I despise in human beings.

Arrogant? Check.
Juvenile? Check.
Over-rated? Check.
Asshat? Check.
Prick? Check.
Whiner? Check.
Ignorant? Check.
Cry-baby? Check.
Loud mouth? Check.
Alabaman? Check.
Poor throwing mechanics? Check.
Wears number 17? Check.

Alright, I made that last one up, I don't hate people who wear #17 - but everything else is true. Say what you will about Tom Brady (and I have) but at least he is gracious in victory. If the Chargers can somehow shock the world on Sunday, I envision that Rivers' victory celebration would involve him removing his pants and defecating on the Patriots logo at mid-field. (Sorry Pop, I don't really have a problem with your team but I can't get past that quarterback of yours)

If Billy Volek ends up playing it will probably make it a lot easier for me to cheer for the Chargers. Not that it really matter who I'm cheering for, the Pats are going to wipe the Chargers off the face of the Earth - but at least I'll be able to live with the fact that I did the right thing and cheered against New England. Although if Volek does play I'm sure Rivers will still be doing this on the sidelines.
Winner: New England

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Artisan and the Village - A Fable

A great cry of sorrow rose up from the masses, "The Chosen One who brought joy to our lives hath now wrought plague on our livestock and disease on our crops. Our places of dwelling shall surely quake and give way if he were to steal away in the night. Once before he left us, surely he would not a second time?"

But it came to pass that the Chosen One assembled his possessions and bore he and his family away from the humble village, to a land rich in well-tended pastures... and grits. It was in this land of the many consecutive letters that the Chosen One found work as an artisan. He was charged with the task of designing the finest silks, woven with complex patterns of X's and O's. The bazaar that in he would sell the wares of his trade would be the grandest and most feared in all the known land. In the native tongue it was called the SEC.

While the Chosen One flourished and his renown grew, the village from whence he came was plunged into darkness, chaos and confusion. No more was the joy they had once known, only fear and despair remained. They laid blame at the feet of the Chosen One and cursed his house for bringing misfortune upon them. The villagers destroyed their own property with abandon, in hopes it would bring respite from the suffering. A father cries out to his child, "Son, bring me thine sledge that I would smite this mini-carriage bearing the Chosen One's name. He shall know the nature of our anger when it lay in splinters!"

The Chosen One's name was now known across the land and word of the hardships that had befallen his old village reached his ears as he was journeying to do battle with a group of ferocious Tigers, in a place known in legend as Death Valley. The hardships of the village brought sadness to the Chosen One's heart and he left his caravan, in hopes of setting right what had become of the village.

As he crested the surrounding hills, a gasp of sorrow escaped from the Chosen One as he saw that the village now lay in ruin. "Why have you laid waste to what we toiled so long to build," he cried.

The villagers answered, "You have twice abandoned us and it was our anger and sorrow that gave rise to this destruction. We are lost and without direction. And our football team sucks."

And the Chosen One replied, "Do you not see that what we built could have brought you joy and peace for many years? Instead you chose greed and with it came pain and suffering. Do not try to possess what cannot be possessed. I am not livestock that one man or one village can keep for themselves. What we built, we built together. Focus not on that I am no longer here to lead you. Instead turn your thoughts to the happiness that lived in your homes and your hearts. I am not a Chosen One, a keeper of the things you seek - I merely showed you the path. With it laid out before you, you can now follow it on your own. As I leave, wish me good fortune in my pursuits as I will you in yours."

As the Chosen One, revealed to be simply a man, bade farewell to the villagers, they agreed that what was said was indeed the truth, and wished him well. And they set about re-building what had once been a mighty village.

Except for some of the old people - they still held a grudge. And those known as the "village idiots", they were still pretty pissed too - but nobody really cared what they thought.

Around the Rim

Ed Note: I neglected to give Trebor credit for this new feature when I posted it this morning.

Football is now dead to me after the Cowboys lost*. No more stories about Jessica killing the Texas dream, making it 12 years since they won a post season football game. I could start watching hockey but… that’s not going to happen. American Gladiators is only on once a week... so basketball it is. *I will still follow football, the chance of seeing Favre beat the Patriots for his last game…

So I was thinking of doing a link-style page for those who want to have some idea of what’s happening but don’t want to watch highlights. There will be college, pro, women's (you may consider that pro but…)

Start off with something for the ladies. Last week Oregon State vs Arizona. Now I know better than to put a clip of women's b-ball up cause no one even watches it, but the story behind it is good. How the game was so close really is the intriguing part, did the coach even bother playing zone or just triple the girl with the ball and double the other one. The smallest bench I’ve seen is 8 and I believe that was Riley with the Miami Heat???

Speaking of the two, the Heat are in the news of late. Yes Shaq is hurt, no surprise there though with all his icy/hot pads you think his back would be better… or maybe it’s the fast acting pads that caused the problem. Wade is injured, don’t know what injury it is now but he’s hurt and with no reason to try anymore... who cares.

The big news is that they will be playing a quick pick up game against the Hawks. 52 seconds… How do you coach that? Okay guys we just have to go out there for 52 seconds, just try to play through the pain???

I think the game should be played after they play a full game cause that would be more realistic. What happens if Shaq isn’t available to play, he is the reason why they are playing again, or maybe the Hawks are out a couple of starters??? Maybe there is a reason this hasn’t been done since 1982.

52 sec may seem like a life time if you're Joakim Noah. How much would this suck if your team, who is probably the biggest disappointment this year, said no, we don’t want you to play. Maybe they weren’t joking about his job being to get the doughnuts. Almost feel sorry for the Gator and his "Patty Mayo" hairstyle… almost.

If you feel sorry for Noah how about this guy. Apparently no one told him it was kids night and the whole gangster buffalo didn’t really go over well. Really, I would have never guessed. Maybe if it was in New york or LA then things would be ok. Hell the kids have probably seen him on the street before selling ‘blue magic’, but in wholesome Colorado. Here is a rendering of what he may have looked like.

Who not to feel sorry for… AK-47 better known as Adrei Kirlenko (plays with Utah). That’s a pic from his New Year's Eve party. The interesting part is apparently his wife says that as long as he tells her when he’s sleeping with groupies that’s okay. Her reasoning is: if I say no, he can’t sleep with other women then it’s like telling a kid he cant have pizza… they want it even more. You turn your back and the kid is eating pizza. I wonder if I can use that logic… hmmmm ... no better not - I do enjoy having my testicles attached to my body.

Since it started with Jessica I’ll end with Jessica. -- "Don’t worry J-SI, everyone hated me at first too and now they love…me. What was that? They don’t love me, they just put up with me cause the Spurs are winning and for half the game the Jumbotron is on me? Well at least they are still looking at me. I guess I better stop wearing that ugly Spurs hat and just go with something simple.”

*note - this last part was very tough, looking through all the Eva pictures and trying to decide which one to post….phew…tough work, but somehow I managed.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Headlines (on Tuesday)

Norv Turner Just Informed His Team Has More Games to Play

So the Chargers are headed to the AFC Championship game eh? Let me just say for the record that I will be a Patriots fan for that day. I'll be rooting for the Chargers to be wiped off the face of the Earth. Don't get me wrong, San Diego is a nice team with some very good players - I really like LT and Antonio Gates. However, Philip Rivers is taking prickishness to a whole new level. I should state that I didn't see all the Indy/San Diego game, but I have it on good authority that Rivers decided to taunt Colts fans while he was injured on the sidelines - and Billy Volek was leading the game winning drive. (I have since seen the footage) I could never in good conscience put my support behind a team lead by such an insufferable infant. I hope Rivers heals in time to play in Foxboro, just so we can see him get his comeuppance. Comeuppance!

Check out this post on Kissing Suzy Kolber - it sums Rivers up perfectly. The post is R-rated, so proceed with caution. And thanks to Trebor for sending it along to me.

Phil Simms Calls Patriots Game; Brings Self to Orgasm

Is there no way that CBS can get someone besides Phil Simms to do colour commentary for Patriots games? Please? Simms' blatant fanboy style makes Bob Cole look fair and impartial by comparison. If it were possible for Tom Brady to impregnate a man - instead of, you know, actresses and supermodels - Simms would be sending more flowers and chocolates to Gillette Stadium than the front office could process.

Watching a completely dominant and unstoppable Patriots team is bad enough as it is - do we really need the broadcast team to be cheering for them as well?

Simms might tolerable if he could actually speak English - but whatever he's speaking, that ain't English. Is it too much to ask for networks to employ personalities who can actually speak the language. See: Smith, Emmitt.

Why I'm No Longer Welcome at the YMCA

Because of some deluded notion about self-improvement, I found myself at the local Y on Saturday afternoon. Thanks to the advancements in modern science, I was able to watch the first quarter of the Green Bay/Seattle on the little TV attached to my Elliptical Machine.

However, due to Ryan Grant's 2 fumbles in the first 6 nanoseconds of the game, and my subsequent stream of questionable language, I was nearly force off the premises. But as they say, the cream always rises to the stop and Seattle was beaten like a gong for the final 55 minutes of the game. Shaun Alexander's 20 yards and 2.2 yard average brought joy to my heart.

And speaking of bringing joy to my heart - that was a football game wasn't it? Driving snow in Lambeau Field and Brett Favre making one of the great plays I've ever seen. Watching that game reminded me why I love sports. Sometimes I need that reminder with all of the other garbage in sport.

Do you realize that if not for those 2 early fumbles, the final score would have been 42-6? Although I think there's a principle in physics that says changing one aspect of an event will ultimately change the final result. Maybe that's Occam's Razor. Or maybe it's the one about the cat in the box.

Mexico: Not Just For Violent Stomach Ailments Anymore

Now it's also the place to go before you put together a textbook football choke-job. The New York Giants are now going to the NFC Championship game... I'll just let that sink in for a second. At least the league's Mandatory Manning in a Championship Game policy is being followed to the letter. Sponsors and talking-heads will be over-joyed. Unfortunately it's the Frank Stallone of Mannings... Elisha.

How the Giants continue to play in the post-season is just beyond me. Yes I know it's probably just denial, but they're not really that good are they?

But that was more a case of the Cowboys losing the game than the Giants winning it, right? Since Jessica Simpson has already disgraced the careers of Tom Wopat and John Schneider, she can now add Tony Romo to that list. I'd add Nick Lachey, but he never had a career in the first place. BAM!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Predict A Riot - For Real This Time

You wanna get nuts, c'mon - let's get nuts!

It's Divisional Playoff weekend and if I can't stay awake for these games I'm obligated to turn in my Blogger password and delete my account. More excited about these games, I could not be - I'll be so emotionally spent by 4 in the afternoon on Sunday that I'm going to be mainlining Red Bull.

I'm serious - is there one game this weekend you don't want to watch? One game that you looked at and said, meh? Didn't think so.

This weekend we get to see Favre, (Peyton) Manning, Brady, and Romo. Phil Rivers and the "other" Manning are left off this list for obvious reasons. Vince Young will be at home icing some part of his body, Todd Collins will be at Home Depot looking for new tile for the downstairs bathroom and Jeff Garcia will be at the grocery store - trying to wildly run and flail his way through the crowds of shoppers.

Seattle @ Green Bay
You know, just when I thought I couldn't hate Seattle any more passionately... their kicker is going to wear heated pants at Lambeau Field on Sunday. You know when I was kicking in Green Bay in the winter, we were lucky to even have pants. And if we did, they were thread-bare linens from the Five and Dime. And the team only had 6 pairs of shoes to go around - guess who never got to wear them, that's right... the kicker! Now you got these trendy Westcoasters coming in with their sophisticated coffee, metro mustache/glasses combinations and electronic pants. The scoreboard wasn't even electronic when I was kicking - the coach's slow-witted kid got paid a Buffalo Nickel every game to hang wooden numbers on rusty nails sticking out of a 4x8 sheet of plywood that the quarterback donated when he built his rumpus room. If you can't play in sub-zero temperatures without heated pants honey, maybe you should just put your dress back on and go mix us up another round of Manhattans. And get off my lawn!

...wow, I'm not sure what just happened there - I think I may have been channelling Abraham Simpson, or possibly Larry King.

It feels like this game loses some of its lustre because it looks like Brett Favre might play another game at Lambeau. While that would be great - it would have been so sweet to see Green Bay put a royal jack-booting to Seattle and then see Favre get carried off the field after his last home game. I am still looking forward to the jack-booting though. So help me Hasselbeck, if you ruin this for me I will find you and... well, I probably won't do anything - but I will find you. Actually, have you seen the cost of a flight to Seattle? Ridiculous. I'd include Shaun Alexander here too - but his 0.7 yards per carry doesn't really worry anybody.
Winner: Green Bay

Jacksonville @ New England
As much as I'd love to believe everyone when they say, Jacksonville matches up really well against New England, I just can't. I learned my lesson after getting suckered in by all that, U.S Army matches up really well against the Viet Cong talk. Fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on Fred Taylor's brittle hamstrings. (I might have ripped off that Viet Cong line from somewhere. Sometimes things seep into my unconscious. I apologize)

There's a part of me that actually wants New England to win this game. Don't get me wrong, I desperately want them to lose one of these last three games. However, I want to see Pats/Colts 18, The ________ in Foxboro. Hey, it's not easy coming up with something that rhymes with Foxboro - and no, socksboro is not a word.

Forgive me if I'm overestimating the importance of playoff experience but I don't think Jacksonville has a chance in this game - not even like a snowball's chance in hell chance. I just don't see it. For a team to beat the Patriots it's going to take a totally mistake-free game and I don't think Jacksonville has that in them - be it a bad interception, a fumble or a stupid penalty.

This game comes down to Tom Brady's boyish good looks... wait, what? No, no - that's not right at all. Forget I said anything.
Winner: New England

San Diego @ Indianapolis
By now we can all pretty much agree that Philip Rivers is a prick, right? And he's a pretty mediocre quarterback - but that's secondary to his prickishness. Do you realize that Drew Brees could have been playing quarterback for this team right now? I think I would be more apt to pick them in that scenario.

Yet something about this game feels fishy to me. It's a - it's quiet, too quiet - moment. By my reasoning Indy should roll all over the Chargers. But it just seems a little too easy to me.

Oh I keep forgetting - Norv Turner is still in charge in San Diego isn't he? That changes everything. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be seeing this quite a bit on Sunday. This ain't no Vince Young situation kids, Indy is a whole different beast.

This will be one of the few times I'll be cheering for the Colts - only because I want to see them play the Patriots next weekend. You think San Diego would have a shot in Foxboro?

Giants @ Dallas III
It's too bad that Jessica Simpson isn't going to be in Dallas this weekend - cause that's a storyline nobody's tired of hearing about. We could have heard Joe Buck and Troy Aikman undressing her again. It's really a shame.

Oh, football - right.

Yes I know the Cowboys looked terrible in their last few games. Terrell Owens' ankle is more crooked than an Airbus deal. And surely some of Jessica's idiocy has worn off on Tony Romo - thankfully he's still smiling though - don't you ever go changing Tony.

However, I cannot and will not believe that the Giants will be in the NFC Championship game... and possibly the Super Bowl this year. How are they winning games? It's the "other" Manning - and his name's Elisha. I guess having a great pass rush goes a long way these days. And having a running back the size of Adam Bomb doesn't hurt either.

But the Cowboys have a running with the nickname Marion the Barbarian - and for that reason alone they're going to win this game.
Winner: Dallas

I know I said there was going to be a review of the pre-season predictions but I ran out of time for that today. So I'd say look for that next week.

I Predict A Ri... Well Almost

I'm not quite there yet - but I wanted to let everyone know that there will be Divisional Playoff picks up... sometime. This week is also going to be a look back at the pre-season predictions, so it's going to be quite hefty. I can't promise it's going to be up today but it will be before the games on the weekend. So start checking back later this afternoon.

It's nice to see the news that Kent Austin interviewed for another job is being met with the kind of understanding and level-headedness that you'd expect (or at least I'd expect).

I also wanted to say a colossal thanks to everyone who has been commenting over the past few days. It's a trend that I know everyone at Sports As Life wants to see continuing. All the comments make everything we do that much more rewarding. I'd like to think what we post is rewarding in and of itself but getting some feedback (any kind of feedback) makes everything that much better. So remember, if you ever have anything to say (positive, negative, funny, bad pun or otherwise) - make sure you leave a comment.

(And yes I am aware that picture is probably the lamest thing ever posted on this site. Ugh, I think I'm making myself sick. Excuse me, I have to go vomit...)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sights & Sounds

Here I am back in action after a holiday that included such highlights as a fever of 173F and losing my voice completely. Before I get things rolling here, I feel I should warn you about what you are about to read. After reading this post, you will likely ask yourself the following questions: “Does Jeff K work for a living?” The answer: “I do”. Next you might say “Then he has way too much time on his hands”. However, I assure you that the following theory and experiment took no more than one hour in total.

You read correctly, as a man of science, I have again decided to test out a theory. Every once in a while a strange thought will come across my brain and…well... I will try and walk you through how I came to the following tests.

MySpace is a great place to discover music, so, what I will often do is poke around the site for a while listening to music I haven’t heard before. I have found that the best way to filter through the junk is to go to the MySpace pages of bands/artists you already like, and then check out their friends and the people leaving comments. One day I was on the Lotus Child MySpace and I noticed that someone named Gina Loes had left a comment. The picture showed her with an acoustic guitar so I thought I would check it out. Sure enough when I clicked my way to Gina Loes' MySpace there was some music to be found, and I actually quite enjoyed it. All of the songs have anywhere between 12 and 212 plays. So, barely anyone has actually dropped into this page. Next I found myself clicking my way to Jason Molina’s MySpace page, who I really enjoyed. This clicking from MySpace to MySpace can go on forever if you let it, and you can find some pretty great undiscovered musicians out there on the Interweb. It is a bit sad, actually, that there is so much great music out there that you will likely never hear. In fact, you will probably never hear your true favorite song.

In any case, I got to thinking, you really can click from MySpace to MySpace endlessly to where you would probably end right back to where you started. This led me to wonder if everyone in MySpace actually is connected. Next I started thinking about the “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon”. This is the theory that any actor/actress can be linked to Kevin Bacon through film roles in only 6 degrees of separation. Naturally, I had to then wonder, could I link someone from MySpace to Kevin Bacon’s MySpace… makes sense… right? Why not start with Gina Loes who is basically unheard of on MySpace with only a little over 2000 profile views. Guess what, it took me a matter of minutes to link Gina Loes Myspace to Kevin Bacon’s in 6 degrees. Here is the break down:

1. Gina Loes is friends with Lotus Child

2. Who is friends with U2

3. Who is friends with Megan Light

4. Who is friends with Chip Greene

5. Who is friends with John Corbett

6. Who is friends with… wait for it… KEVIN BACON

To be honest, this kind of blew my mind how easy this was. I figured I must have been lucky, so, I emailed Luke (an external source) and asked him to give me the names of two polar opposite people on MySpace. My plan was to link them together in six degrees or less, and then possibly link each one to Kevin Bacon. What were the two names he came up with? Barack Obama and Rob Zombie. Pretty great choices. I can’t think of even one thing that Obama and Zombie have in common. I am sure there is even a joke somewhere here… but I can’t think of one.

So, after about 20 minutes, here is what I came up with...

1. Barack Obama is friends with Third Eye Blind (That is kind of bizarre isn’t it? Third Eye Blind is actually on Barack’s top friends list)

2. Who is friends with Hip Hop Lives

3. Who is friends with Demetri Martin

4. Who is friends with Tom Papa

5. Who is friends with… who could it be… Rob Zombie

That didn’t even take 6 degrees… now how about Kevin Bacon?

1. Rob Zombie is friends with Tom Papa

2. Who is friends with Demetri Martin

3. Who is friends with Hip Hop Lives

4. Who is friends with Tom

5. Who is friends with Hugo

6. Who is friends with… it couldn’t be... yes it could… Kevin Bacon

And lastly…

1. Barack Obama is friends with Third Eye Blind

2. Who is friends with Tom

3. Who is friends Hugo

4. Who is friends with … not already… only 4?... that’s right… Kevin Bacon

That one was especially easy. Again, this didn’t even take very long. None of these relationships even required me to click past the first page on any of the friends lists. Also, I am pretty sure some of these could be shortened to even lesser degrees of separation if I wanted to spend the time.

So there you have it, I am really not sure what this proves. Honestly, in doing this, I really did forget why I was doing it. I guess just to prove you can link anyone to anyone on MySpace. This actually led to a brief argument between my wife and I about Facebook. She spends more time on Facebook than can possibly be healthy. I told her that I was positive I could link her Facebook page to Kevin Bacon. She disagrees. If it wasn’t for my absolute hate for Facebook, I would prove her wrong… but this will have to wait until I can bring myself to actually browse the site.

There is one more observation that I feel I should bring forward from this whole study. You may already be aware of this, but here is one thing that became very clear when clicking around on MySpace… there are a lot of scandalous pictures! If you go by all the pictures, MySpace is made up of 33%-47% hot chicks. I would argue that this is probably not an accurate representation of the real world. Just to prove this finding, check out this list of friends from the Hip Hop Lives MySpace. There is a minimum of 10 semi-erotic photos on this page. Seriously, what is the deal with all the half-naked women on MySpace? It is ridiculous.

Now on to something a little lighter, here are just a few links that may keep you entertained for a few minutes if you happen to be bored… which if you are reading this, you probably are.

- Lets start with a few Conan O’Brien Clips:
Clip 1 - The Rock Band stuff is hilarious. Also, I am a big fan of Conan’s writers-strike beard. Apparently he is not shaving until the strike is over. Apparently Letterman has a strike beard as well.
Clip 2 - Chuck Norris is Back!
Clip 3 - Conan surprises people on their tours through his studio during the strike.
Clip 4 - Here is a bit of classic Conan. Norm MacDonald is hilarious.

- Do you have an hour to kill? If you do, here is a film which actually includes performances of every single song on the new Radiohead album. I am a pretty big fan of the new album, so I think this is great. This is just another example of how unorthodox Radiohead is. They actually posted a video with every song off their new album. Crazy. Also, if you happen to buy their new album you will find that it only costs $7.99. Why so cheap? Because it comes in a folded up piece of cardboard. In this envelope you will find the cd, two stickers with instructions on how to place the sticker onto a plastic cd case, and a cd book with the lyrics that can be placed into a cd case. So basically, they provide you with everything you need to make a normally packaged cd, except for the plastic case. Strange.

- Check the skills of this drummer. Mario Bros 2 like you have never heard it before. The part at 2:05 is awesome

- If you think I have too much time on my hands, check out this guys clips on Youtube - here and here.

- How about a couple clips from Jimmy Kimmel.
Clip 1
Clip 2

- And we better balance thing up a bit. I gave you some Conan and Kimmel… here is some Letterman.

- I still haven’t decided if this is actually funny or not yet. You be the judge.

- And, we might as well finish up the links section with this clip, that should have women around the world cringing. Another step backwards for feminism.

Before I sign off for the week, I feel I should also mention a movie recommendation. I recently saw the film Once - which is currently available on DVD, and it was outstanding. If you are a fan of independent films, Damien Rice, and David Gray… then this film is for you. Once is what they call a “modern day musical”. About 60% of this movie is music. However, don’t fit this in with what you have previously categorized as a musical. Basically the story follows Guy (Glen Hassard of the Irish band “The Frames”) who is a struggling musician. He meets Girl (there are no names… the leads are Guy and Girl) who plays the piano and she inspires him to record a demo. The majority of the movie is them playing songs. Again, if you like folk/acoustic type music like that of David Gray and Damien Rice, you should like this movie, if nothing else, for the music. I was going to link some songs from the movie, but I feel that if you heard the songs before hand, it would take away a bit from the film experience. If it wasn’t for a bowl game that I had to watch, I might have actually watched this movie twice in a row.

And there you have it… do I have too much time on my hands?

Jeff K.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Patented Chris-Check

A desperate plea went up from the Sports As Life landscape this morning, searching for a brave soul to actually watch hockey. One man answered the call - longtime supporter CH. You've felt the sting of his patented Chris-Check on the ice, now you can feel it on a semi-irregular basis on Sports As Life. And a-way we go...

I'm here to rescue hockey from the brink of obscurity here at Sports As Life. Hopefully I can do for this blog what Gary Bettman was able to do for hockey in America in '93. One has to ask – if the editor of this site doesn’t watch hockey and is disenchanted with the NFL, what sports is he going to write about? Judging by the comment response of the American Gladiator post, perhaps that could become a weekly feature (shudder – yeah, I know I left 2 of the 15 comments and am equally part of the problem. I also read the Britney Spears gossip on the front page news of CBC.ca and CTV.ca, just like everyone else who complains about her being newsworthy. What’s it to you?). I for one still like hockey and the NHL. There’s a great scoring race happening right now and far more competitive teams than most leagues. My interest is also piqued when the Flames begin playing well, which has kept me happy since the beginning of December.

So what should you expect from this quasi-regular column?

Any updates and hard hockey news can be found on TSN or Sportsnet for 49 minutes out of every hour, beginning at 5am, right on through until noon, so I won’t waste your time with that. I’ll try to write about the stories and opinions that don’t have a voice – like the proliferation of trash talk in the game (What’s acceptable to get an edge? Tips and how-to-guide from a self professed successful amateur), why goonery still has a place in the greatest of all games, or why the Leafs should be removed from the league for 5 years so everyone across Canada can see other teams play and jump ships. Oh yeah, and I’ll fully admit that you will see very Flames biased commentary.

Talk to you soon,

Don’t forget to get your tickets for the Regina Pats/Moose Jaw Warriors alumni game in February. Theoren Fleury just signed up along with Stu Grimson. $10 a ticket – how can you beat that.

For Those of Us With Short Attention Spans

I'm flying by the seat of my faded corduroy's today - and you know what that means, a ... post.

... If you like sucker-punching cancer victims, then hockey is probably the game for you. One of Philadelphia's resident ass-hats, Steve Downie reminded everyone why hockey is such a special game when he punched Jason Blake in the eye on Saturday night. Fantastic - no wonder I can't give the hockey column away (funny that, nobody wants an unpaid gig writing about a sport that nobody watches). And don't give me that garbage about Downie being a troubled youth - if his mental state is causing him to lash out like this, then maybe he should be receiving professional help and not being allowed to play a sport where he can maim other human beings. Also see: Simon, Chris.

... Jeff K just sent me this - it's the video of Chris Bosh's girlfriend heckling Lebron James on the weekend. Of course this led to James going off in the 4th quarter and burying the Raptors. Say what you will about Jessica Simpson being at Cowboys' games, but at least she's not on the sidelines heckling Donovan McNabb. What I'm hoping is that this turns into a T.O situation and next week Jamario Moon is asking Bosh for his lady's number - "just to talk to her".

... And on the topic of Chris Bosh - as far as shameless self-promotion goes, this is actually pretty clever.

... Mustache enthusiasts, relief-pitching fans and Cooper rejoice! Goose Gossage has finally been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

... In the credit where credit is due column - Cooper may have had a rough go of the Bowl predictions but he did say that LSU would beat The Ohio State on Monday night by 2 touchdowns. The final score... 38-24. The sad thing is American Gladiators was probably more watchable than that game was.

... I know that Joe Gibbs retiring from the Redskins (again) is the big coaching news in the NFL right now but I'm still gloating over the Ravens' firing of Brian Billick. It's not often that people get what they deserve so my belief is that you have to bask in it when you can.

... However, not everything is well in the world of NFL coaching - because in the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, "That just happened!" Honestly, as someone who rooted for the 49ers as a youth and still has a soft spot for them - there is no way this is going to end well. I will concede that Martz has had success as a co-ordinator, creating explosive offenses. But in St. Louis and Detroit he had offensive weapons with which to cause said explosiveness. And San Francisco has... ... ... the dynamic receiving duo of Darrell Jackson and Ashley Lelie? The pre-pubescent girl hands and bum shoulder of Alex Smith? The running back formerly known as Frank Gore? Perhaps San Francisco's inept offence this year was the fault of their OC - or maybe it was their almost total lack of talent on offence.

... Seriously though, if anyone wants to start writing a hockey post occasionally - let me know. I just can't be bothered and the same goes for the rest of the Sports As Life crew. I feel like hockey should be represented here though, at least a little bit.

... Now that the NFL season is winding down, we're going to start getting into basketball a little bit more. As Jeff K has said - it's criminal that Isiah Thomas has not been mentioned once this year on Sports As Life. I couldn't agree more and we're going to work on rectifying that situation.

... Also, we're only about 2 months away from March Madness. One way or another we're going to have a Sports As Life pool this year - so start thinking about your bracket. Look out for those Wichita State Shockers!

Monday, January 7, 2008

There's No Accounting for Taste - American Gladiators Edition

I had every intention of watching the return of American Gladiators last night, but I forgot it was on. Luckily for everyone, Trebor did not forget. Here's what transpired...

Though it wasn’t assigned or maybe the boss gave it to someone else, last night I watched the greatest sporting event of 2008BROTHER.

If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face then… well you probably were never part of Hulkamania. Anyway last night I watched the return of American Gladiators. Warning: parts of this [post] not affecting the [message] have been edited. That was something that came up at the end of the show … to which I said… QUE ??? What is there to edit… 4 rounds and the Eliminator… simple to me.

So I’m fairly sure I’m not alone in saying I watched American Gladiators growing up… I always liked Nitro and Gemini and then Hawk, with his military hair cut… then the girls… oh the girls. When your like 12 and you have these women in spandex in front of you… Anyways there was Sky, so tall could climb her like a tree. Then Ice (who I think dated Nitro), Diamond and Elektra.

The idea of two regular every day people going against the big, tough gladiators was awesome. Sitting there thinking that would be so much fun to be there to take a Joust to the back of the head or running through the Gauntlet. Even though hearing the phrase “this really is David vs Goliath” every show was tiresome, it was still a good time.

Now some of us may have grown out of that stage, along with watching wrestling. Me on the other hand… I’ve been known to watch classic ESPN and reruns of American Gladiators. It’s still a good time… even better seeing that early 90’s hairstyles and the cardboard fans… all that old stuff. And the announcers were always a hoot.

Anyways the Hulkster came out along with Ali (forget her first name but you now who I’m talking about) Ed. Note: It’s Laila. Blah Blah Blah… here are your American Gladiators… they come out to flashy lights. There was another female Siren… couldn’t think of any more original names I guess?? The guys had names like Wolf (who howled) he had the big sideburns like I used to have. Then there were: Justice, Mayhem and Militia... not bad. The girls names: Crush, Fury, Venom… meh. But again there were some good looking ones. Oh yeah and Helga… who in the one event sucked but anyway she’s huge. I don’t know her measurements but over 6 ft and 200 lb probably. I don’t think we’ll see her in Hang Tough anytime soon.

It was different and even watching the classics I get that sense… when I was a tike the gladiators were these huge guys… all muscle and you were like wow. Now the gladiators would still break me in half yes, but they aren’t as impressive anymore. Not sure why, something to do with steroids in sports I think.

Then we meet the contestants: a toilet paper saleswoman with 3 kids and husband who ran off on her or something. The other was a life coach, so positive and happy…damn I hate that. They start off with Power Ball, one of my favorites. In case you want to watch tonight I won't give away results but the TP ladies knee goes out within 30 sec so her day is done.

So with the Power Ball, it’s not as good as the original. The course seems smaller and the cylinders are like 3 times as big. Before you had to lunge and slam it in to have any chance for it to go. In the ladies event the one girl was doing jump shots like 10 ft away… what the hell is up with that? Also another thing to note… multiple cameras. It was very hard watching at first cause they kept going back and forth.

Then the men get introduced: a professional skateboarded and a NY firefighter. You had to root for the skateboarder but you knew who was going to win…or did you. Almost spoiled the show.
Before they go on, Hulk said something that raised an eyebrow “now it’s time to get serious, it’s time for the men”… Really, Ali is going to let you say that no matter how true it may be.

Another event they changed, the Breakthrough and Conquer, I think now is just wrestling, though you are on a platform that moves and shifts… not bad but I liked the football part.

Then before the commercial… “This bone crushing action brought to you by Subway” - it just seemed so out of place. Later there was a Toyota one as well and they even had a Toyota parked beside the Eliminator course. I wasn’t too happy at this point with what I was seeing, a little tear came to my eye. I wanted to get into the show but if it was going to continue like this then I couldn’t.

Luckily it did get better, they did something not seen in the earlier shows - girls one competition, guys another. So round 2 for the girls was Joust and for the guys Hang Tough (the event I think I hate the most). Then they did pyramid one not often done in the early shows but I can see this one being an every week event. The contenders get throw around body slammed and tackled and fall down 15-20 feet. Oh yes and 2 girls wrestling and rolling down a pyramid in each others arms surprisingly hot… no wait, that’s not surprising at all.

Other things that were different… water. Anything where a contestant could get knocked off, there was water for them to fall in. Also when they did fall the song Another One Bites the Dust played or that Na Na Na Na song. The other notable change was the talking between gladiator and contestant… seemed a bit scripted. Some of it was good and added some get up to it. Other times it seemed pointless.

Then the Eliminator, which was sometimes good but usually a let down. Someone either had a huge lead and would finish before the other got to the cargo net, or it would be close to the cargo net then a blowout. I’m not sure why but that cargo net always got people.

So in this one there was a .5 sec difference and a 16.5 sec difference. In the end both were really close.

In point form this is what the Eliminator course is like: 8 ft wall, jump in water and swim under water 20 ft, climb 30 ft cargo net, barrel roll (hold to barrel then it rolls down), hand bike, balance beam, pyramid climb (30 ft ), zip line, tread mill then break through.

I loved it. The best time I saw last night was 2:13. In the classic episodes guys would get through in like 40 sec. I love the hand bike and where it is - after they do the cargo net and swimming so arms already have had a workout… it looks so hard. Then the pyramid climb looks easy but every contender last night was panting as they went up. Then the inclined treadmill, though they do have a rope that they use to help themselves up, is the best. Especially right at the end.

One contestant was at the treadmill and the other was just getting to the hand bike. It was a close finish, I won’t say who won but of the 8 contestants I saw last night only 1 made it up the treadmill on the first try. At the Breakthrough they seemed to be almost passing out.

Another contestant was a former sergeant in the marines. She hit her head in the swim part so she was bleeding and even when she finished she was exhausted. Just wanted to throw that out for people who like to see blood with their sporting events

So I enjoyed it and will probably watch again. I hope to see some other events but some I hope I never see again.

I think they are replaying it tonight and if you liked the original you should check it out - tough it out through the scripted lines and the cheesy light show and music. Just hearing Hulk say brother is almost enough for myself.

Bowl Bonanza - The All You Can Eat Buffet is Now Closed

Cooper has apparently been spared the clutches of the sinister Red River and gives you his prediction for tonight's BCS National Championship Game...

Well I am back here at the Sports As Life satellite office in Nipawin after my voyage to Winnipeg and back. As of mid-February I will closing up the shop here in the north and portaging it down the Yellowhead to Winnipeg. There is a much more active sports scene there I am told. Get this, they have a professional baseball team. I am not sure who they are affiliated with but still, it's just exciting to know. Unfortunately the only bowl game I was able to catch the past few days was the Fiesta Bowl in which West Virginia soundly handed Oklahoma their asses and made them wear them as hats. An "asshatery" game if you will. If you didn't catch the game you missed an amazing performance by Mountaineers freshman RB Noel Devine, who was only playing due to injuries to starters. It was also good to see West Virginia interim head coach Bill Stewart get promoted to head coach following the game. The players obviously had a lot of love for the man, which was shown by them carrying him off the field. So to see him not get the job would have been a complete slap in the face to the players. I don't believe he was even a candidate for the head coaching position before the game, so good on the University of West Virginia for giving him the job.

Well to what really matters.

Tonight is the final game of the college season. And if we are lucky enough, this game should determine the national champs. Tonight is the BCS Championship game. The game features the #2 ranked LSU Tigers (11-2), the champs of the SEC up against #1 THE Ohio State University Buckeyes (11-1) and champs of the Big 10. Tonight's game kicks-off at 8pm eastern from the Superdome in New Orleans. This is the part where I could throw out some stats and trends at you people but I have a feeling that none of that really matters. The match up features the Tigers, as mentioned many times before against the Buckeyes, which is some sort of nut. Actually looking back at the schedule there were 5 universities which used the Tiger as their mascot - as well as 2 Cougars, 1 Nittany Lion and a Wildcat. That's a lot of cats folks. That kid from high school must of had a good time this bowl season. He was in fact a "big fan of the big cats". (That joke is so terribly inside that I think only myself and Chris H will get it)

I believe this year will be a repeat of last year's championship game in which Ohio State came into the game ranked #1 and was soundly defeated by a lower ranked team from the SEC. Last year of course that was Florida, this year it will be LSU. LSU should win this one by 2 TD's, give or take a field goal here or there.

And with that comes to the end of the bowl season and my sole purpose here at sportsaslife.com for the past 6 months. I feel like a lost child in a Wal-Mart now. What to do, what to do? Nobody wants to read about offseason college football news and I especially don't want to have to research it and write about it. I guess I could always try and revive Coopers Corner. That horse had been sent to the glue factory quite some time ago but I believe he is still next in line to be made into said glue. So we will see what happens I guess. I am still not sure what my computer situation will be in the 'Peg. My 80 year old grandparents don't exactly have a state of the art Mac with DSL high speed now do they. My kingdom for a laptop and wireless!